David Lloyd Leisure Bounces Back To Pre-Pandemic Levels Seven Months Ahead Of Initial Forecast
Monday 9 August 2021
Following four consecutive months of record sales, David Lloyd Leisure (DLL), Europe’s leading health and fitness group has bounced back to pre-pandemic membership levels with over 660,000 members across the UK and mainland Europe, smashing its initial business recovery forecast of spring 2022.
The rapid bounce back and unprecedented business growth has in part been fuelled by inevitable pent- up demand experienced by the industry as a whole. However, David Lloyd Clubs’ breadth and depth of family friendly lifestyle facilities, plus their suburban locations, has also driven the uplift, supporting the shift in lifestyles to hybrid working and less commuting which has seen a boom in people looking to join health clubs closer to their homes. DLL’s Clubrooms also provide business lounges for those working remotely, as well as a friendly club community, supporting mental wellbeing after months of isolation working from home.
In addition, research shows that the pandemic has not only resulted in people valuing mental and physical health more than ever – with wellbeing and overall lifestyle both cited in the top 3 reasons for new joiners taking out a membership. They are also willing to invest more of their disposable income in themselves, and in the health facilities market. This means that in recent months DLL has been able to attract not just its traditional member base but also a broader sector of the market who may not previously have considered them but are now looking for more than just a gym. David Lloyd Clubs offer luxury spas, holistic classes, first-class gyms, indoor and outdoor pools and renowned racquet facilities, all appealing to a new post pandemic market segment who now recognise the value of the broad wellness offering.
Safety has always been a key DLL driver with many clubs operating with over 100,000sqm and benefiting from large indoor and outdoor spaces. As a result of this, the company has also taken this time to develop new and very attractive products and services which optimise the space and facilities of their clubs across the UK and mainland Europe.
More than this, DLL is investing heavily in expanding its digital offering, initially addressing the trend towards digital workouts with the launch of the David Lloyd Clubs @ Home app in March 2020, offering thousands of live and on demand fitness workouts. However, community is a key part of the David Lloyd Clubs offering and the app has already naturally evolved with the introduction of quiz nights and coffee mornings, plus wellbeing sessions and lifestyle tutorials. The app receives 1m on demand views per month, 10k live class participants per month, and offers members a complementary product in addition to its in-club offering.
New DLL CEO Russell Barnes, said; “Like many businesses, we anticipated a strong post-pandemic recovery, but no one could have predicted such a phenomenal bounce back. The health crisis has clearly fuelled a demand for wellbeing and fitness, but our clubs, with their breadth of family friendly lifestyle products, and suburban locations, mean that we are particularly well placed to take advantage of the boom. Most importantly, we have worked hard to fulfil our responsibility to all our members – old and new – to always offer the best possible environment and products that reflect their changing needs and lifestyle – and we intend to go on doing just that!”
DLL Executive Chairman Glenn Earlam, added “These results are testament both to the hard work and dedication of our team at all levels; and to our strong belief in our established business model and the potential it offers for DLL’s continued growth in the UK, Europe and even beyond.”
About David Lloyd Leisure Group
The David Lloyd Leisure Group has 122 clubs - 99 in the UK and a further 23 clubs across Europe, comprising its two brands David Lloyd Clubs and Harbour Clubs (of which there are three - Chelsea, Notting Hill and Kensington). In January 2020, it exchanged contracts on eight clubs from the Meridian Group in Germany. In March 2020 it announced it had exchanged contracts to acquire Geneva Country Club, its second club in the Geneva region.
It has over 660,000 members and employs around 8600 people. This includes an expert health and fitness team of over 2000 while it contracts the services of more than 680 tennis professionals.
David Lloyd Club’s racquets facilities are unparalleled with over 1080 tennis courts as well as over 400 badminton and squash courts. Additional facilities include health and beauty spas, club lounges with free internet access, crèches, nurseries and specialist sports shops.